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Balancing Life's Demands - How To Put First Things First, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2021 5:00 am

Balancing Life's Demands - How To Put First Things First, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 31, 2021 5:00 am

Is your “to-do” list too long? Do you have too many people wanting your attention? If you’re struggling to keep all the balls in the air, join Chip Ingram for Living on the Edge today as he shares how you can put first things first.

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Use your to do list too long you have too many people wanting your attention and at times you feel mildly guilty and at other times you just feel extremely guilty. Are you juggling too many balls and you wonder if God how do I slow this down. How I get my life under control if that's you stay with Morgan to talk today about how to put first things first.

Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with shipping room trips are Bible teacher for this daily discipleship program motivating Christians to live like Christian, I think we can all relate to that overwhelmed feeling trip just described life can often feel like a runaway train going on everything is happening so fast feels like you can't get a handle on this trip continues a series Ellen Singh life's demands displaying so we can slow life down back to what matters most in general.

This is such a relatable topic so let me encourage you after today's message shared with someone in your life you can easily do that to the chipping remap by downloading the free MP3s of Living on the Edge.or what's joint your bill for his message how to put first things first from Mark chapter 6, I was pretty new Christian and I had this amazing opportunity to ask Howard Hendricks. He was one of my heroes and mentors. Now it got to ask him in anything I could ask anything you wanted ask, and so I grew up in a very dysfunctional church wanted and teach the Bible and have a lot of hypocrisy and then I I ended up in a in a small parachurch ministry where everybody I knew for the first three years I was Christian I mean everybody. Everyone got up and read the Bible. Everyone memorized through three versus week. Everyone was in a Bible study once you got to a certain point, no one said it that you just knew someone's help to know you need help someone else. Everyone was in some sort of a mentoring relationship where no, I knew that Jerry was helping me and I was helping two guys on my floor and I was helping the two guys my floor so we went from about, you know, for five people in his living room to 250 college students in personal Bible study on a secular campus. It's all I knew. And then I kinda got into the real world and that all these Christians that said they love God and by the way, I'm not saying that everyone needs to do all those things in that way.

Please don't hear you that that's a list of things there were needs to do all I'm saying is all the Christians I knew were really I didn't know they were like not committed Christians and committed Christians to know plant is just those little ones I've ever met. In the end the ones before you know I was bad, bad scene, grown-up and a member get with prof Hendrix. I said prof you tell me something you would just like me and 00 great coupons of wisdom and knowledge that I got really know just a regular guy with lots of wisdom and knowledge. I said why is her so much hypocrisy. You know once I saw just saw blades are just so much hypocrisy in the church and I'll never forget you and I said Chip I think it might go something like this. Most people live with two sets of priorities. They have one set of priority that they have written down on the list and if you ask them they sincerely believe it.

God's first family you know children ministry work and they have that on the list but they have another set and that's how they actually live and so we have people whose lives were over here and there list is over here and we have this amazing ability to not see that they don't line up. The reason why most of us live with two sets of priorities. I want to give you three reasons here just to get us going. First, we are deceived or deceived. We honestly don't see the discrepancy between what we think and say and how we actually live about what is true of all of us.

This doesn't like the bad people and the good people. This is like. Are you really really deceived fairly deceived or just a little deceived me welcome to the human race. The second reason we have lived with two sets of priorities is we are afraid though we long sincerely to put first things first, we simply do not believe that God will supply our needs. If we given the first portion of our time, our lives and our money.

I mean, you don't understand I can't squeeze in.

I mean I'm overwhelmed and you're asking me to add you know, 15 minutes or 1/2 hour or 45 minutes to be with God first.

You know it's kind like some of you look are you on drugs man. You understand I had three kids.

You understand I got six grandkids and see if you believe that when you give the first and the best to God.

He will begin to clear things and providing ways.

So a lot of us don't put things first and don't live by biblical priorities, because it's really an unbelief issue that's rooted in fear. You know we got debts we've got pain. I'm overwhelmed. Give the first portion of my money see when you do that it forces a chain reaction of you give the first portion of the oh now what to do you trust God is not a budget. You probably have to get on one your product to figure out where your money is actually going you're probably have to make some priority decisions, you're probably have to do some crazy stuff like like us. We could cut off that satellite and maybe the cable and you know what I had no idea retracted for one month know of $395 of eating out this is only half a month. How do we do when you begin to take the steps God will show you things, but see were afraid and so and and it feels overwhelming when were afraid and so most of us with this whole priority issue we nod, we nod yeah why need to address that someday Monday gets emails hit. Then things got a go here, go here and most of what we talk about part from some who say God I really want to hear. I really want to change.

I really want to grow it will be almost life is normal. Two weeks from now. The third reason we live with two sets of priorities. As we have failed repeatedly are sincere and honest efforts to put first things first. In the past lasted only a short time and ended with frustration and disillusionment with ourselves, let's face it, how many have started on a diet and not doing so well. How many of have a little card in our wallet somewhere that says fitness center that was actually paid for, you know, and they're making a ton on it because let's see if it's $150 per year, or $200 300 and you go twice. That's like $75 a visit there really doing well. How many of us and got I'm really a start meeting with you and you did for two, three, four mornings and right and you know your human on human. So in those areas where God has spoken to us in the past and working to put first things first about this. What you have on these. I am really serious.

Right. I am not on. I'm really not.

I'm going to get in shape on your walk with God and start minutes and we are going to simplify working to start really get under control and like maybe I mean for you, like obsessive-compulsive super discipline people last about two weeks maybe.

And once you fail a number of times the knew what you do you to start saying one we don't say it anymore and to, there's this battle that goes on yeah I want that. God I hear that those tools of my money and my time. I don't want to go there. I tried this before and I failed and I feel and so I want to talk to you about this morning as I want to get very very practical and I want to talk about what I think is the secret.

If you will. The missing ingredient what it is, what is it that brings the list that I intellectually would write down in my life is that demonstrated and played out by Allied actually do things. What is it that brings those things together so that the same what's the missing ingredient to living out your priorities first. It's a rarely used word for you to go sort of in a little inductive journey together. Okay, it's a rarely used word. Second, it's a fruit of the spirit is a fruit of the spirit, so this missing ingredient isn't something that you can do it something that is a part of what you already possess. In Christ, but it's allowing the spirit of God to produce this in your life. Third, it comes to us by grace. Whatever this is, this missing ingredient it comes to us by grace, so it's not about trying hard. Most of you already told you tried the trying hard and work for. We admire it and other people.

We see this in other people go woe man that's neat. We admire its essential for putting first things first visit. A lot of people start well don't finish well because of this, and the word ready Unisource swallow hard. The word is discipline of some translations say self-control if it makes you feel better. You can write in self-control.

But it's discipline and we love it when we see another people we admire it. This is part of the fruit of the spirit.

Let me give you definition for discipline.

Discipline is doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. By the way. That's why workaholics can be slothful and lazy. Even though highly active in all of us ever had a you know, Matthew 18 situation come up.

Someone has sinned against you, or there's an issue that you need to confront someone on right and you wrote it down. God showed you. You need to go talk to this person you need to confront them and all the sudden just it just pops up over here. You know I really need to jot that note to so-and-so and you know what you maybe I'll do a few errands first or we fill it in with all kind discipline is not simply activity it's doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done and you know in the Proverbs give us the list of Vino major sins that inhibit our lives. When's the last time you heard like a really great message on slothfulness or laziness you call me anything, but don't call me license right when I know what needs to be done in my relationship with God. My relationship with my wife with one of my kids in in terms of where God shows me something when I don't do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. The Bible calls that slothfulness and so there's a reason why we don't get some things in line.

So let's get sort of on the positive side of this discipline is the spirit empowered ability given by God's grace allows us to say no to the quick fix in the easy road and say yes to the harder but better way. That's what it is is not trying hard is not button down is not to make myself do this. It's not getting self-righteous and no one else does this, but I get up early and I do this not do this.

I do this and I'm rigid and legalistic no no no discipline is spirit empowered ability that you get by God's grace that allows you to say no to quick fixes and easy solutions and say yes to facing the hard difficult things on the front and in order to receive the richer and deeper and better. Titus 211 and 12 you have it in the translation in your notes and this one is especially good because I like it is for the grace of God that brings salvation that has appeared to all men. It notice its grace.

It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled.

That's our word upright and godly lives in this present age couple quick observations. First of all grace produces discipline and body weight. Somewhere along the line we been teaching grace in a faulty way we think. Grace and no effort. The opposite of grace is no effort that's not it.

The opposite of Grace's merit. Paul would say make every effort you pick takes focus it takes energy, but it is the grace of God, who both to will and to work in you. It's the grace of God helps me to say no to worldliness, but the notes a second observation. It teaches us what set me means it's a process means it doesn't happen overnight. It means like a child learns to ride a bike out and about you, but I didn't stick my kids on the bite okay thing they got it they learn and how they learn. They do this damn, damn, why don't you know that I don't see the parents what get up right now. What's wrong with you. There is little hope any of them, and they take three steps in the fall and the parents are excited about what the two or three steps they take and they understand the fall.

It's a process to learn discipline as a byproduct of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what it says in Galatians chapter 522 and 23 it says but the fruit singular of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things. No law so it's the spirit is learning to trust by fate, allowing the spirit of God to produce discipline in our lives were commanded coming just about doesn't do it for you were commanded to live discipline lives. Second Peter 16 is and let your knowledge lead to self-control and self-control, to perseverance and perseverance, to godliness, discipline is the process that is learned over time through training is not an experience. It's not automatic and is not about trying hard to never forget. I had a you and assist in a really bright young gal that work with me for about eight years and she had never run a day in her life and she was not athletic at all and she decided she was in a run a marathon and I been working out for years and like I run about 2 miles and hurts my knees on the menu no, no, let me chase something hit something, play something, but running just seems like, how can anyone do it. I'm are you to do it coming here she is. She's never done. She's on a light.

I talked my friend and working as a training program, we saw a magazine going. Good luck sweetie and the and then we met this guy who does marathon and I watched her and she started walking that she jogs so long and all I can tell you is about four months after she decided to run a marathon.

She went into training.

I can remember about three months in and she was can I come in a half-hour late tomorrow. I said sure what yet: she goes well, it's a done. And I did 10 miles on so-and-so and this is I'm up to my 16 miler and we had to get up real early 16 miles before you come to work.

She said yeah I'm thinking you are like an angel from heaven. How do you do this and what I want, just she ran a marathon without stopping. Because everything she needed to run a marathon was in her body but she had to go into a process of training over time to take that which he already possessed over time to develop the capacity to perform what was in her are you, some of you kinda get what I'm saying all that you need is in you, the spirit and the power in the grace that raised Christ from the dead is in you. We must go into training. That's why the writer if he was was saved by now you want to be mature.

You gotta be teaching but you're drinking milk you need to be trained by God's word to talk about cultivating discipline is training now as we get going here.

The dynamics of biblical discipline can be summed up in two words because at this point. I hope I hope you're saying I want training I want to be disciplined. I love the start time with God or a workout or mentoring someone or getting my finances and my time in order but I've never been disciplined if you could show me how to get this point will I will do what I want God to do it. Okay say no authority to do it can be summed up in two words delayed gratification is the key and I think there if of all the passages in Scripture that help me really get my arms around biblical discipline. Its Hebrews 1211 all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet, to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness do little Bible study. I would encourage you to memorize that one little verse all discipline, self-control, same word of every passage. So far it's the same root word all discipline notice for the moment, front end does not is 16 to be hit. You know, so it's sorrowful, it's difficult. It's painful, yet, to those who have what's our word. Over time, been trained by I wish you could see the picture of my assistant space with the metal she got with her three friends 26.2 miles later, someone who never run a day in her life and accomplished an amazing feat because she went into training and that's what God has for you and your relationships, your marriages, your singleness, your parenting your money and your time. That's what he really has for you don't believe that libel there's other people that are more smart than we are. And if there's people that are so much more holy and there's people that are in such a different category. This is God's plan for every one of his children. I love the quote by the author and psychiatrist Scott Peck. He says discipline is willfully choosing to embrace the painful and difficult aspects of one's life. First, in order listen to this to more fully enjoy and successfully achieve those relationships that mean the most.

So much we we always focus on the first half. It's sorrowful, it's hard. I got to get up to get on a budget.

I want to do that you will never do it.

I failed before. Instead of focusing on. He says it's willfully choosing to what to confront the pain on the front and why so you can get something way way better on the backend but to give you a high school illustration you're in 10th grade you're now learning how to write term papers after a term paper is a 15 page term paper that is due. You don't know much, but they sent you to the library. It's the old days we did 3 x 5 card you go to get on the computer and you've gotten alike a month to do it three weeks of gone by your last week and you said yourself you like I get on this term paper.

You are never written one and and your parents as well as a pretty good that mean something. Think about a little bit like I do have my topic. That's it.

And then it hasn't really going to announce but Tuesday or Wednesday and you did at least Peru's where the resources were for about five minutes. While it's Thursday and you decide, okay. Thursday I can get this America start the term paper in your at school and some of this heavy party night another's home and this it's this awesome party well okay you I could do it Friday night so you so you go to the party but even during the party in the back of your mind.

This nagging 15 pages.

That's a lot time little knot in your stomach but you know little funds were to make that go away you get up in Friday and then so did you hear about your the game tonight but no I can't get a game and write a term paper.

Friday night Eunice a home write a term paper you nerd what's with you and you said yourself that is kinda dumb. I got all day Saturday right so you go to the game right when you get up on Saturday. Now I'm really tired.

I think I think I'll just get some eat for really get going, but pretty soon it is Sunday night. The term papers due. You start about 830 and you work until about 430 in the morning and you've written a very poor 12 1/2 page paper that supposed to be 15 and here's the point. You not only have a lousy paper. You didn't enjoy Thursday night very much during most of the game.

All you can think about when your team wasn't scoring or you were laughing was what was undone you had this knowing in the back of your mind on Saturday your procrastination. You had low-grade guilt. The turn to high-grade guilt and you told yourself that you gotta really help me why you were church and thought about skipping church write paper. I got news for you. There's people that live their whole life like in the stuff that really needs to get done keeps getting pushed out and keeps getting procrastinated will get the finances under control were work on our marriage will really sit down and talk with one of our kids will address this addiction issue or confront that issue with you know our in-laws. And hey we got a set some boundaries and deal with some stuff and you know what is that term paper and it never gets in you to stay busy. You stay active you love God little bit you do love this new libido that all the while, you never experience the rich better that God has. Because of that rare word delayed gratification and so I would say the big question for us. How in the world you develop if delay gratification if that's the key. How do you develop it in your life, and the method of developing biblical discipline can be summed up in three words.

Discipline is two words delay gratification, how you get it. The process of developing, you said yourself what's the training where the magazine that says if I run or jog a little bit and then the next week. I actually trying jog a mile.

Then after that I go in, where, how does that happen. You can see it right out of scripture. The three keywords are advance decision-making. The key to delay gratification if you are at the window and the moment where you know you need to delay gratification and you haven't predecided what you do in that moment, about 95% of the time will do what you don't listen to part chips message how to put first things first will be right back with his application for this teaching from a series Ellingson life's demand. Do you long to get out from under the pressure to do more more and achieve more in this five-part series cheer provides practical biblical steps to help you move your life from chaos to contentment will discover what it means to prioritize your hopes around God's hopes for your life and how to not only put first things first, but keep them there. You're not going to want to miss a single part of this series for limited time the resources for balancing life's demands are discounted and the MP3s are always free. For more details go to or call us at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or Listeners tap special offers before we go any further.

Chip is something special you'd like to say as we come to the end of 2021 you know it's been a crazy and a wild year, and yet God has done some of the most amazing things in us and through us and in you and through you that we've ever seen.

Let's take advantage of this moment in history. Let's step out together today is the last day to have your gift Living on the Edge matched dollar for dollar. And so, let me encourage you if you been intending or if you haven't and you thought I need to pray. I need to really ask God if he wants me to give to Living on the Edge just be open and just follow his lead and then make sure you do it by midnight tonight and will make sure that his double dollar for dollar. Thanks in advance for whatever God leads you to do and thank all of you as we end 2021 for your extraordinary generosity. God bless you and let's keep pressing ahead if you like to join us with that mission in mind there's never been a better time.

Thanks to the generosity of a handful of friends of the ministry. Every gift we received before midnight tonight will be doubled, regular mail needs to be postmarked before midnight to be part of this December match. Just go to or just give us a call at AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or app listeners just Donate. Thank you in advance for whatever the Lord leads you to do now, here's Chip with his application. As we close today's program. This is a topic that a lot of you I think your initial response is I really want that and I really hate that you this whole idea of of discipline of not getting what I want right now, it's like intellectually we say oh yes, I know delay gratification is really important, but when you look at your debt level. When you look at eating at times when you know you're not hungry and when you look at, you know III started working out and already live just one day what I want you know is that we all struggle with this issue. I've observed that the single most important element that's missing in people. Spiritual growth is discipline. You know there's honest desire with a group of young people. They honestly really want to grow but they just do know it's hard to get out of bed or you not meet people who really want to get their priorities in line, but that the mountain of credit card debt is so big and so long people who want to get in shape, but is just like all you know I get started and when I fail it's because we don't understand how discipline works. It's a fruit of the spirit. It's not trying hard in our next broadcast time to talk about the dynamics of delay gratification. I mean the mental process of how to think so instead of this mindset of oh I'm giving up this and I can't do that and you know this is so hard and I need to try harder and I'm just not a very discipline person that thinking is garbage that thinking is from the enemy when you get it right biblically what you realize is I'm not giving up anything great. I'm delaying some things it would be sort of nice to get something awesome and great later and as you start that process the grace of God will begin to give you more and more discipline. It's a fruit of the spirit and you will begin to have this level of self-esteem and positive feedback. As you begin to delay some things and you'll begin to see the fruit within two or three weeks, but let me tell you, you've gotta understand how it really works and that's our next broadcast hope to be with us just before we close.

Let me give you one last reminder about our end of the year match so many of you've already been incredibly generous and want to thank you for partnering with us if you haven't given yet. Let me tell you why now is a great time. Every gift we received from now until midnight tonight will be matched dollar for dollar. Your gifts enable us to create new resources and really help Christians live like Christians of today's your day to join the team. Just go to postmark regular mail before midnight or give us a call at AAA 333-6003 app listeners just Donate.

Thank you in advance for your generosity will until next time, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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